Pirates notebook: Cole scratched from rehab start at Indianapolis

Rob Biertempfel
| Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, 9:30 p.m.

PHOENIX — Right-hander Gerrit Cole has been scratched from his scheduled rehab start Saturday with Triple-A Indianapolis.

In an email, general manager Neal Huntington gave this one-sentence explanation for the change of plans: “After Gerrit's last outing and last bullpen, we decided another bullpen to refine some things was the best course of action.”

Huntington did not say whether Cole had any health setbacks or if there's a timetable for when Cole will rejoin the Pirates.

Cole's extra bullpen might be used to slot him to pitch on a particular day when he is activated from the disabled list.

The Pirates have an off day Monday and have not yet formally announced their probable starters for a three-game series that begins Tuesday against the Miami Marlins.

Cole went on the 15-day DL July 5 because of right lat soreness. In his first rehab outing Monday, Cole tossed five scoreless innings, gave up five hits and three walks, and struck out seven.

Volquez scuffling

Edinson Volquez was brilliant in his last start before the All-Star break, tossing a six-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals.

In his first two starts after the break, Volquez is 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA. He gave up five runs in 5 23 innings in a loss against the Los Angeles Dodgers, then gave up four runs in 4 13 innings in a no-decision against the Colorado Rockies.

“Part of the onus is on him,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “The command of pitches, the execution of pitches.”

Hurdle also said he believes the complete game might have something to do with Volquez's recent struggles.

“I get questioned all the time about why our starters don't go deeper in games,” Hurdle said. “One of the byproducts of complete games for guys who don't throw them a lot is it can affect them in the next start and have some collateral damage.”

Morel gets chances

Brent Morel made his fourth start at third base Friday since being called up from Triple-A Indianapolis. In his first three, he went hitless in nine at-bats with no walks and a strikeout.

Morel, who was acquired during spring training, has batted .226 with a .602 OPS in 210 major league games. He was recalled July 23 when left fielder Starling Marte went on the concussion disabled list.

Around the horn

First baseman-outfielder Mike Carp was designated for assignment by the Boston Red Sox. During spring training, the Pirates mulled making a trade offer for Carp. ... Cory Rhodes, a right-hander, who went 5-5 with a 4.08 ERA as a senior at King University in Bristol, Tenn., signed with the Pirates as an undrafted free agent.

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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